When you think of Volkswagen's current Beetle, chick car is
often the first thing that comes to mind. Volkswagen didn't do much to dispel
that status when it gave a sneak peek at its third generation Beetle on Oprah
Winfrey's talk show late last year (Volkswagen also at the time announced
that it would be donating 275 2012 Beetles to the Oprah audience).
Since November, we've only seen a silhouette
shot of the 2012 Beetle along with a pretty interesting Super Bowl
commercial that teased the vehicle. Now, Motor
Trend has broken the 8AM embargo
on the '12 Beetle announcement and posted pictures and information on the
The '12 Beetle is clearly an evolution of the current model
that burst onto the scene the United States in 1998. The roofline is less
circular and carries on a more "chopped top" look first seen on the New Beetle
Ragster concept in 2005 (the roof is lower by half an inch). The front of
the '12 Beetle carries on with the familiar large "eyes", while the
lower grille is more in keeping with more conservative models in the Volkswagen
lineup like the '11 Jetta and the '12 Passat.
Overall width is up 3 inches on the new model while the
overall length has been stretched by six inches. Cargo capacity has also been
boosted, and now sits at 10.9 cubic feet.
The engine lineup for the '12 Beetle should be instantly
familiar to anyone that keeps up with the automotive world. The standard engine
will be the 2.5-liter inline-5 that generates 170 hp and EPA ratings of 22/31.
Two optional engines are available: the 2.0T which generates 200 hp and returns
30 mpg on the highway and the 2.0-liter TDI which delivers 140 hp, 236 lb-ft of
torque, and EPA ratings of 29/40.
Pricing is not yet available for Volkswagen's latest chick
car Beetle, but we'll be sure to keep you updated as information becomes